BOV takes on budget constraints, faculty raises

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February 7, 2012

12:07 AM

Committee on Financial Affairs 

 

The Committee on Financial Affairs of the Board of Visitors met Friday to present and discuss the financial affairs of the College of William and Mary. Part of the discussion focused on student housing improvements. The committee discussed its goals for expanding housing options and improving the quality of existing facilities. According to the presentation, from 2003 to 2011, the number of undergraduate students housed by the College hovered around 75 percent. This trend was estimated to continue in 2012 and 2013. Major projects for student housing include renovations for Chandler, Landrum and Barrett Halls.

— Michael Thompson

 

Committee on Athletics 

 

Thursday, the Athletic Department presented to the BOV and William and Mary Foundations to explain the state of College athletics.

“[We want to] lay out for both committees … how we view ourselves, how we view what we do for our student athletes, how we do it, and our ultimate goals that are, again, in support of the mission of the College,” Athletics Director Terry Driscoll said.

Driscoll explained the College’s financial and academic situation in relation to other colleges in Virginia and the College’s conference.

“Our graduation rate is right at the 90-91 percent, which is about where the College is,” Driscoll said.

Students at the College pay $1,485 in athletic fees, the third highest amount of any Virginia school playing NCAA Division I sports. This composes 50 percent of the Athletic Department’s operating budget to pay for 23 different sports, the most in the state after the University of Virginia.

The College has the second highest athletic endowment income in the state, but very low contribution in comparison to other colleges. Driscoll expressed a wish to expand the endowment for scholarships in order to focus annual contributions on other areas.

“If we could endow all our scholarships; so that we had them, then annually we could focus on compensation and operate ;  that would, I think, put us as close as we can maybe get to being able to never have to compromise the quality at which we’re doing academically and athletically, remain a very, very good quantitative and qualitative experience and be competitive,” Driscoll said.

College President Taylor Reveley agreed with Driscoll’s assessment of the financial situation.

“We have to endow the scholarships; if we don’t endow the scholarships, the fee can’t keep going up,” Reveley said. “So to keep this magnificent program rolling, we have to endow the scholarships.”

In order to increase revenue and to maintain and improve, the department needs to be better situated in the image of the College as a whole, presenters said.

“It’s not like we want to stand out; we want to be part of a whole and recognized as a part of a whole,” Driscoll said.

— Jill Found

 

Committee on Buildings and Grounds

 

The BOV Committee on Buildings and Grounds met Thursday morning to discuss further renovations of the main campus dorms and Virginia Institute of Marine Science renovations.

Vice President for Administration Anna B. Martin updated the committee on the plans for the new Yates Field fraternity complexes. Construction on a parking lot to replace the one in front of Yates will begin next week, and ground breaking for the complexes is set for April, to be completed by fall 2013.

Martin also discussed on-campus versus off-campus housing options, stating that the goal is to house 75 percent of students on campus, an increase from its current 73.22 percent. To reach this figure, Martin plans to renovate older dorms and consider  building new ones.

“It’s not just a bed; we have to make sure it’s desirable as well,” Martin said. “Only 51 percent of beds are air-conditioned at this point.”

Martin discussed planned renovations of Chandler, Landrum and Barrett halls, which include adding air conditioning. Construction on the former will start in the summer 2013 and take eight months.

“The [campus] tour [goes] right through Barrett Hall,” chair Janet M. Brashear ’82 said. “This is the impression [prospective students] are getting.”

The presentation included a comparison of on- and off-campus housing prices. The average off-campus apartment, $690 per month, is more expensive than an on-campus dorm, $568 per month (excluding the Tribe Square apartments.) However, lower tier off-campus housing averages $473.

Next, VIMS Dean and Director John T. Wells announced Governor Bob McDonnell’s decision to allocate $250,000 for the new Marine Advisory Research and Support Facility and $8,050,000 for the replacement of a 30-year-old research vessel. The next step for VIMS reconstruction will be a proposed replacement for the Gloucester Point Oyster Hatchery.

“[The hatchery researches] ways to farm from the sea,” Wells said. “It’s the future of being able to feed the world’s population.”

The committee approved a resolution to adopt the guidelines for projects under the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002. This would allow the College to receive suggestions from builders about campus construction plans.

— Meredith Ramey

 

Committee on Administration

 

The Committee on Administration reviewed the annual report on campus safety and security, which contains current plans for emergency communication as well as future plans, statistics about crime rates, and college comparisons.

Anna Martin, vice president for administration and chair of the Emergency Management Team, compiles the report in order to present it to the BOV for review, approve any changes to the safety code, or discuss possible changes to be made that the Board has questions or concerns about.

“I believe we are making good progress,” Martin said. “There is always work to be done to make the program stronger. This year, we will focus more on awareness and sending information to the campus.”

The College safety administration is planning to execute many more field exercises, simulated and indoor emergency scenarios in order to increase the preparedness of the campus in its entirety. The College performs these exercises with local police and firemen as well as federal agencies, in order to ensure the codes meet national safety standards.

“We need a checklist to audit and look at periodically. We only see the report once a year, and we need a better way to gauge our progress,” chair Dennis. H. Liberson said.

In her presentation, Martin also showed the Clery Report, which listed the count for the many different types of offenses that have been documented by police each year. The number of burglaries rose by six incidents during 2010 ; Martin said that much of this is related to larcenies and the petty theft of bikes, a rampant occurrence on campus, or theft of electronics.  However, the College’s campus is highly residential, and the rate of burglary is well below the average of other colleges across Virginia.

— Bailey Kirkpatrick

 

Committee on Strategic Initatives

 

The BOV Committee on Strategic Initiatives met Friday to map out plans for the upcoming year, which include reviewing the faculty payment and reward system, to expand student research opportunities and develop summer study and research and to fund salaries, graduate stipends and start-up packages, and increase focus on engaged learning.

“Starting in December, we are no longer going to treat raises as a quadrennial event. This isn’t the presidential election here,” Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Jim Golden said.

Other initiatives include implementing a diversity-action plan, promoting the Sherman and Gloria  H. Cohen Career Center through alumni and enhance the alumni chapter engagement foundation.

Reveley stressed that while the College must not overlook its graduate programs. Representatives from the Mason School of Business and the School of Education presented their successes from 2011.

— Ariel Cohen

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